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Requirements Versus Expense

Are you in the process of hiring an armed guard in Houston? A uniformed and armed security officer is a visible and formidable crime deterrent in any setting. However, before you execute the order to have Human Resources (HR) start recruiting, you must first consider how often you will need an armed guard versus how much it will cost to recruit, interview, hire, train, outfit, equip and maintain a guard force.

What’s more, it is a crime to employ anyone to perform any security duty, even a “bouncer” without a license. In addition, the company must have a licensed security manager, who must possess two years’ experience in security and pass the Texas state exam, administered in Austin. Provisions have been made by the state to consider some military duty.

Recruiting an Armed Guard

First, the state of Texas differentiates the duties of security personnel into non-commissioned and commissioned officers, much like the military, except a commissioned security officer in Texas must meet the prerequisite training in weapons and firearms. Second, before recruiting an armed guard in Texas, the company must be registered with the state and possess the legal liability insurance. Finally, before you hire an applicant, they must have fingerprints done and a background check completed a minimum of 48 hours before they accept employment. There is a full list of disqualifying criminal offenses in Rule 35.4, Guidelines for Disqualifying Criminal Offenses, under the Texas Private Security Administrative Rules.

Training and Outfitting

The process of training a commissioned security officer, who must possess a legal License to Carry (LTC) in Texas, is a long and expensive process. The trainee must first complete the requisites for a non-commissioned (Level 2) security officer before qualifying as a Level 3, commissioned security officer. Texas regulations require a minimum of 45 hours in weapons training for a commissioned security officer.

Maintaining an Armed Guard Team

The background check must be kept on file for two years after hiring, regardless of how long a hire stays with the company. An LTC is a legal requirement for both open carry and concealed weapons in Texas. Although it is permissible for the armed guard with an LTC to maintain his or her work-issued weapon at home and transport it back and forth to duty, the company remains legally culpable for any mishaps with a gun owned by the company. Therefore, it is preferable to maintain the weapon or weapons on-site in an armory or vault.

A Less Expensive Alternative

A less expensive and simpler alternative is to hire a trained and ready Western Eagle Security guard team. Western Eagle meets every Texas state requirement to retain and maintain non-commissioned, commissioned security officers, and managers. What’s more, whether you need an armed guard permanently or temporarily, to cover a specific event, Western Eagle has you covered.


Many of the legal requirements for an armed guard were gathered from the State of Texas Private Security Administrative Rules, available in .pdf format here.

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